Several members of the
Seattle Pipe Band, established in 1916 and now defunct, left that band to
form the Keith Pipe Band in 1952. G. Colin Buchan, Robin Buchan and Carlton
Wilds formed this new band and created a band constitution, modified only
slightly since its inception, providing the organizational structure and
operating procedures for the band.
In 1952, the original members of the band sought and
received permission from the 10th Earl of Kintore, Chief of the Clan
Keith, to wear the Keith tartan and cap badge. The band decided to wear a
quasi-military uniform, including traditional uniform parts: tunic, plaid, cross
belts, spats, military horsehair sporrans, feather bonnets or glengarries. KHPB
is one of the few bands in the area who still wear this type of uniform on
special occasions. Complimenting the formal uniform for more casual events, the
band added a casual uniform alternative in the late 1970s. The casual uniform
included a khaki short-sleeved military shirt with a custom-made Saltire patch
on the right sleeve and an olive green wooly pulley (commando sweater) for
colder weather performances.
through 1980 primarily included parades, celebrations and dedications.
Notable events included representing the
United Kingdom at the United Nations Day program in 1952, performing for the
British Consulate during the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962, and receptions
and parades for military ships during the Korean Conflict and Vietnam War.
The band performed in many parades, fairs and festivals throughout the
region. The band also conducted stage performances at a variety of venues.
The band competed
occasionally in regional Highland Games from 1954-1980. Members also
competed in solo events, but the band primarily focused on being a
performance band during this timeframe.
As an all-volunteer
organization, in 1963 the band formally became a non-profit organization
under the name “Keith Highlanders Pipe Band”. The band’s performance fees
and monetary competition awards pay for the band’s uniforms, drums, certain
piping supplies and band instruction/education.
The band’s membership
fluctuated during this timeframe, but concerted efforts in training and
recruiting programs kept the band going. The band’s 25th
anniversary in 1977 was notable, as the 12th Earl of Kintore and
his wife graciously accepted an invitation to join the band in their
celebrations in Seattle.